As years go by, the ladder to success not only elongates but also gets tougher to climb. Every genius and fool alike knows entrepreneurship and exercise is easy for no man. To help guide us through such moonless nights, eCell of IIT, Bombay declares to let there be light and we have the E-Summit, India’s largest student entrepreneurial conclave. This annual affair, since its inception, has risen steadfastly in popularity, dedication, essentials and essence and promises to come with a bigger bang every next year. Thus, the 2018 E-Summit’s line, ‘A Zenith of Innovation’. This power packed event spanning 2 days, 27th and 28th January, scaled new heights in terms of participation, event grandiosities, and even audience excitement and anticipation.
The enlightenment began at sharp 09:30 with keynote sessions given by the MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda, P. S. Jayakumar about why India is in dire need of more entrepreneurs and later by Shiv Khera, the international bestselling author of ‘You can win’, who spoke on succeeding through disruption. That was followed by a heated panel discussion on building scalable and sustainable businesses with Ananth Narayan (CEO of Jabong and Myntra), Kavin Bharti Mittal (Founder of Hike), Kunal Shah (Founder of Freecharge), Sandeep Aggarwal (Founder of Shopclues and Droom), and Vaibhav Agarwal (Founder of Inc 42). By that time, the day had gained heavy impetus with multiple talks being given across the IIT-B campus. Some of the highlights included those by Akshay Kothari (LinkedIn India Head), Aditya Bhat (JIO Studios Head), Vani Gupta (Pepsico Marketing Head), Anubhav Gupta (Director of Aon Hewitt), social media influencer Glen Gilmore, Tisha Shetty of SheSays, Revati Roy, Aditi Chourasiya, Shveta Raina, and many more. Subramanian Swamy spoke about the outcome of the economic reforms of the past 25 years while Vivek Adhav, the Axis Bank Head of Credit, decoded debt finance. There were Founder’s stories told by Kunal Shah, Kavin Bharti Mittal, and Sanjay Singhal (500 startups). One of the sharpest arrows an entrepreneur must have in his skill set quiver is his management. The leadership series had a legendary lineup boasting John Bates, Saurabh Kaushik, and Radha Krishana Pillai. The late afternoon Game Changer series involved talks Munaf Kapadia (Bohri Kitchen), Abhinav Aggrwal (Fluid.AI) and Ahmed Khan (KK Plastics). Even as the sun set, the audiences found light in the evening keynote sessions by Patrick Bet-David (Valuetainment creator), Arundhati Bhattacharya (former SBI Chairperson), and Kanan Gill (Youtuber). Keeping in mind the precedent of dull Jack who only worked, all throughout the day there were many competitions held like Wolf of Wall Street (Supply-Demand Management; Time Optimization), National Bizquiz (General Business Awareness), Triathlon (Real-life problem Solving), Game of Thrones, and Crowdpitch. Besides these, there were 2-day workshops like ‘Venture IOT’ and ‘Webpreneurship’ in full swing too.
While the rest of the world was either still in the dark or sleeping to pretend it wasn’t, the crowd in IIT-B campus was wide awake on the next Sunday morning of 28th January. With the finals of I_Hack breaking the dawn at 10:00 am, adrenaline was already surging through the entrepreneurs’ blood, the finalists and audiences alike. The talks had begun early and the speakers in store that day included Venktesh Shukla (President of TIE Silicon Valley), R Seshasayee (Former Ashok Leyland MD), Ajit Balakrishnan (Rediff CEO), Rajat Nigam (Network 18), Shaishav Dharia (Lodha Group), and Supriya Paul (Josh Talks). Kunal Bahl (Snapdeal), Vishal Gondal (Goqli CEO), Lakshmi Pratury (INK Talks) shared their Founder’s story while the Leadership Series showcased Mr. Sandeep Singh (Indian hockey team ex-Captain). The ‘10 minute million’ finals were held at noon. The young innovators and budding entrepreneurs learned about the changing and the upcoming trends from Samiran Ghosh (Microsoft), Raj Chaudhary (Hashcash Consultants) and Vishal Dhupar (NVIDIA MD). The competitions of IPL Auction (financial optimization), The Board Room (decision-making, convincing, public speaking), Crowdpitch and Stockpitch kept entertaining and simultaneously challenging the participants. That day’s keynote sessions brought Bhavish Aggarwal (Founder and CEO of OLA), Tanmay Bhat (Co-Founder, AIB), Divyank Turakhia (Founder and CEO of Media.net) and Sorabh Pant (Co-Founder of EIC) to the campus.